But what about the kids?

3 weeks and 3 days ago, during the last conversation I would have with the non-political parent before he walked out of my life for good; the conversation where he told me he wasn't happy and his solution to this unhappiness was to leave me; amongst many other things I said- "but what about the kids?"

I don't remember his answer.

One of the first articles I read (for I have become a massive consumer of self-help of late) stated "and whilst you are grieving, don't forget your children- they have had this tragedy forced upon them"

I hadn't forgotten about them at all- they were the reason I didn't eat the contents of the medicine cupboard washed down with the 'Christmas cake brandy' (though I did drink the brandy at some point during that first week) they were the reason I didn't succumb to a very inviting nervous breakdown, they were the reason I got washed, dressed and dragged my shattered, hungover body out of bed and into Morrisons and the nursery. I didn't clean and I didn't cook and now I reflect I'm not sure what they ate- probably all the food friends brought (mainly chocolates and Haribo) with the odd bag of chips thrown in- the lack of cleanliness is something they're quite used to.

No, I never forgot about my children for a minute- that is a luxury afforded only to the non-political parent.

I realised today that when he said he was leaving there was no question about where the children would live and who would care for them. When he decided he didn't want to live with me anymore he also decided he didn't want to live with them.

The non-political parent left and he took with him the majority of the family income. I am still waiting for HMRC to decide what my income and therefore my lifestyle and that of my children will be. So far I've filled in all the forms, called them 5 times and had 5 different versions of events. In little over a week a new month begins- a month with the same bills due, bills generated from an income and associated lifestyle I just don't have anymore. Christmas is looming and my children, rightly so, expect Santa to visit as usual. These concerns are mine alone.

I read to my youngest child every night before bed (it used to be every other night), tonight's story featured Mr and Mrs Bear (parents of Baby Bear) and I realised they share shelf space with Mr and Mrs Brains (parents of Baby Brains), Sophie's Mummy and Daddy (not at all fazed having a Tiger come to tea), Mr and Mrs Thomas (parents of Mog's family)- a search on Amazon reveals there are more books with stories for children of LGBT parents than of single parents. Now, given my track record with men, these easily available books cannot be ruled out; but in the meantime I would appreciate some stories that feature just Mrs Bear or Ms Brains.

But what about the kids? Well the kids are OK, a tad confused and statistically more likely to have poor health/educational attainment/job prospects/self esteem; a higher chance of ending up in prison/unemployed/as lone parents themselves but they're OK. I'm probably the worst person in the world to end up in sole charge of 3 young minds and I hope they'll all forgive me one day but they are clean, fed and loved though perhaps shouted at a little more than is healthy.

So, I've become a statistic...but I'm still here and that's got to count for something.

A Thoroughly Modern Break-Up

I often marvel at the technological advances in my relatively short lifetime. I remember record players, Sony Walkmans, Atari and being one of only a handful of people in my village who were "on the phone". My newest life experience, being dumped, has opened my eyes to just how technology has affected the way we interact, in a new way, to old situations.

In a week where most face to face or telephone conversations have gone something like this-

Them: Hi, how are you?
Me: fine
Them: really?
Me: yes
Them: really?
Me: no, not really, ohmygodican'tbelieveheleftmeI'msolonelymylifeisruinedidon'tknowwhattodo *sob* *waah*

(which, might I add, has done nothing for my reputation and frightened countless people not used to seeing me in such a state -you know who you are)

........the written word has been my friend. Not my best friend, but it's right up there along with alcohol.

My Facebook wall tells the whole sorry tale with messages of support and (((hugs))) thrown in and much to my surprise it's been a huge source of comfort.

My only complaint with Facebook is the limited scope offered in terms of 'relationship status'.

For the uninitiated, Facebook allows you to display your relationship status and if you are the kind of couple who both use Facebook who you share that status with. So mine currently says

'In a relationship' with 'non-political parent' (well kind of)

In my wisdom the other day I went to change it but was rather disappointed with the offered possibilities.

I could have had 'single' or 'it's complicated' neither of which are really suitable.

Single- makes me sound available at least, if not actually on the pull and for a woman who's been happily pseudo-married for 10 years that just doesn't feel right at all.

It's complicated- well it's not is it? Couldn't be simpler- he doesn't want me anymore and he's gone.

So, there in juxtaposition to the day-by-day, status update by status update narrative of the last week or so I remain 'in a relationship'. The clincher being that when you choose any of the other options Facebook very kindly gives you a "don't cancel relationship" option and I'd be mad not to go for that.......

I am a prolific texter at the best of times but have probably outdone myself this week and email has allowed me to ensure I don't embarrass myself but can inform all those who need to know that I'm too emotionally volatile to engage with life at the moment.

On the whole I'm grateful that I have these tools to help me communicate my grief, especially as I know that these kinds of interaction don't force others to join in. So the feeling that I'm imposing on other peoples non-miserable lives is decreased a little.

The only downside is that a (((hug))) never feels as good as a proper cuddle from someone who cares or who just doesn't know what else to do with the cliche I've become.

Apology to readers

Hello. The Political Pagan must apologize. The last weeks have been too busy with other projects to post here. Weekly blog postings should recommence in mid-November. In the meantime, it would be great to hear from readers of what topics they would like to hear more discussion about. Still in the planning stage: a posting against Pagan fundamentalism. All for now. Keep in touch.

The Rest of My Life

Around this time last week, the man I love and have spent the last ten years of my life loving loyally, told me he wasn't happy- the following evening he walked out of my life for good.

So as I ponder whether to change the name of my blog to 'Political Single-Parent', life, it appears goes on- just not for me.

I will spare you the gory details of my emotional rollercoaster so far and for those of you who have visited, called and texted I say both thank you and sorry.

I'm not sure where recent events leave my foray into the blogospehere as I can't imagine giving a shit about anything again, let alone getting involved and then writing about it. I look at the person I was and see the intrinsic part the non-political parent played in who I was and what I did, and I can't imagine ever being 'me' again without him.

I feel so far removed from the woman in the Scottish Labour kagoule door knocking in Springburn last week, I can't really see a way back. I have the challenge of raising 3 children alone to face- at a point in my life when straightening my hair seems futile and too much of an effort.

I have had to hand over all my local political (with a small 'p') work to others and I don't see me being confident or assertive enough to ever take those roles back. I haven't read a newspaper all week and now wonder why I ever thought the kinds of things I did were important.

My answering machine has messages on it from locals defending me after an attack in the local paper- a situation I knew nothing about and couldn't care less about.

For a woman that used to assess many situations in terms of political capital and votes gained when the time came, I am perhaps just getting a glimpse of real life instead of playing the game and maybe it's no less than I deserve?

Besides I have discovered that I am not very resilient and really really don't handle rejection well so perhaps standing as Labour candidate in North East Fife (12500 Lib-Dem majority) is the last thing my battered self-esteem needs..........